My name is Janice Seagraves.
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In my book, Windswept Shores, I used a deserted island in the Bahamas to set the scene for my couple. I did a lot of research to describe it accurately. The island and the weather itself became almost a secondary character.
As for the rest of their adventures, I relied heavily on my own background to fill it in.
You see my dad loved to fish.
I mean he really loved to fish. This photo was taken back in the day when there was no limit on fish caught in a lake.
I think these fish were caught in Exchequer, CA.
The little girl in this photo is me, admiring my dad’s catch (I loved my daddy).
My dad fished all year round. But Easter week was the time for our little family to go on the first camping trip of the year.
On the Friday, the last day of school before Easter break, dad and mom would load up our car or truck (if we had one that year) and he’d hook up his boat (dad always had a fishing boat ), then dad would take us all camping.
We never knew where he’d take us. It could be someplace new or maybe an old favorite like Don Pedro Lake, but wherever it was it would be a place where he’d probably heard the fishing was really good. He’d also talked to fishermen to find out what the fish were hitting that season, since it did seem to change from year to year or season to season.
Dad also made his own lures, but he didn’t limit himself to their use. He had a big tackle box full of lures and, well, tackle. He also raised red worms and at one time he raised minnows too.
My dad caught so many fish that my mom, in self-defense, had to learn to cook them and got really good at fish frying . We ate so much fish that I thought I’d grow gills, lol.
Most of Windswept Shores revolves around my hero and heroine basically camping out on the beach. Which I got from my dad taking us camping and we camp along the shores of various lakes as I grew up. I was nearly born at a lake. My mom was very late in her pregnancy with me when he wanted to go fish and camping. My mom said no, but my dad was persistent. Luckily my mom won that argument.
My father’s gone now, he passed away in 1982 from colon cancer. I still miss him, but as a salute to my dad, I made, Seth, the Aussie hero in my story to be something of a fisherman. He’s also the first mate on the Dinki-Di before it got reefed.
BTW, dinki-di means true blue, as in my dad was a true blue fisherman, and my dad’s favorite color was blue. :)
Seth gestured to the boat. “I’ll prop the boat up a bit, then I’ll do it there. She’s got all the comforts of home on-board her. Even a generator so we can have the electrical going.”
“She?” Megan blinked up at him. “You’re referring to the boat as a female?”
“All boats are sheilas,” he told her. “That one there is the Dinki-Di.”
“Isn’t that an Aussie term?” she asked, wrinkling up her brow.
“It means ‘true blue.’”
“Oh-okay.” Every time I think I get a handle on his slang, he throws me a new one. Her gaze went to the white boat which had just a little light-blue on the trim. “True blue, but it’s not even blue?”
“It’s just an expression, luv. Like I’m a dinki-di, Aussie,” he said, pointing to himself.
“Okay, so it means the real deal?”
“That it does, mate.”
I also gave Seth my dad’s dimples and my mom’s gray eyes. Mom is still with us though. :)
Excerpt, when Megan meets Seth:
She patted the side of his face. “Hey, are you okay?” That’s a dumb question. He isn’t okay.
“Hmm?” Gray eyes fluttered open. He stared at her a long moment, frowning slightly. “G’day.”
“Hello there.” She hated the sound of her voice. It sounded rusty, unused.
Abruptly he rolled away from her to heave onto the sand, making a loud, ugly retching noise.
He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, then looked at her. “Sorry, mate, I swallowed too much sea.” His gaze went over her shoulder in the direction of the bonfire which crackled and popped not far from them. “Mite big for a barbie.”
Sitting back on her heels with her hands folded in her lap, Megan followed his gaze, then back to him. “My signal fire.”
“Signal for what?”
His accent intrigued her. Was he English or Australian?
“G’darn,” he looked around, “where the bloody hell am I?”
“Don’t know. There’s no one here to ask.” Megan shrugged helplessly, but couldn’t contain her curiosity. “Are you from England?”
“Naw,” he rubbed his eyes, “I hail from Sidney, but my port of call these days is Fort Lauderdale.” He blinked up at her. “You?”
Ah, he’s an Aussie. “I’m Megan Lorry, from Anaheim, California,” she said, barely loud enough to be heard above the sounds of the surf and the roar from the fire. “Are you a survivor of Air Bahamas flight 227, too?”
“G’day, Megz,” he answered, struggling to sit-up. “Sorry, I’m not from your plane.”
Megan slipped an arm around him lifting his back off the sand. Turning his head to her hair, he took in a couple of short breaths. Megan pulled back staring at him. “What the—did you just sniff me?”
“Ya smell too good not to.” He grinned, causing his cheeks to dimple. “Name’s Seth Dawson.” Leaning back on one arm, he stretched out his hand to her. She clasped it as if it was just a friendly greeting between strangers back home.
Here’s an excerpt just after Seth caught a fish:
Megan wrapped her arms around his neck. Their gazes met, turning intense. She felt like she could drown in his warm gray eyes. He leaned in and pressed his full lips against hers. The kiss tingled, going right through her, making something lower down tighten and beg for attention.
He pulled back. “Miss me?”
Speechless, Megan nodded.
He set her down. “Look what I caught for our tea.” He threw open a built-in chest, pointing to a two foot long fish. “It’s called a Tarpon. They get a mite bigger. This one’s an ankle biter. Can you get a good fire going so we can barbie this wee fishy?”
“Sure, I can try, but the weather isn’t cooperating very much.”
“Do what ya can, then we’ll eat onboard the Dinki–Di.” He tossed her a lighter.
She caught it. “Okay, but I’ll need a boost to get back up.” She pointed to her campsite.
Scooping her up, he gave her a toss. Megan landed neatly on her feet next to the tree.
Giving him a startled glance over her shoulder, she said, “Are you going to do anymore amazing feats today, Mr. Seth?”
“I’m saving ‘em for later.” He smirked. “And it’s Mr. Dawson.”
“There isn’t anything dull about you,” Megan said without thought.
“Don’t say that yet, luv. It takes away from the expectations.”
“Expectations of what?”
“Show ya later.” He grinned devilishly, showing every tooth in his head.
“I had to open my big mouth,” she muttered. He’s back to flirting. But she found she had missed that, too.
***Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email for a chance to win a free download of my depute book, Windswept Shores. The winning announcement will be held on April 9, 2012***
Find Windswept Shores at Pink Petal books: http://pinkpetalbooks.com/Windswept-Shores-Janice-Seagraves.html
Windswept Shores for the kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Windswept-Shores-ebook/dp/B003URROMW
Windswept Shores for the nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/windswept-shores-janice-seagraves/1025707130
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